Vietnam : Nhà Hàng Ngon

As you all may know from my previous post in Cambodia, I continue a short journey to Ho Chi Minh ( Saigon ) in Vietnam. It's my first time there, and fyi, going to Ho Chi Minh is already in my heart from so long. After a veryyyyy long bus trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, I couldn't believe I finally step my feet in this city! 2 girls, no tour guide, doesn't speak any Vietnamese, you could imagine how our first day was ! :p
 
I didn't made a wrong choice, Ho Chi Minh definitely meets my expectation. I fell in love with the city immediately. I love how the 'Old Town' architecture mixes with the Modern building, I love how clean and pedestrian-friendly are the road ( well .... compare to Jakarta :p ), love the easy-breezy weather, love the food and .......... the list still go on :D One thing that is the problem is only the language. Not  like the people in Phnom Penh who had bettterrrr English, I found difficulties in communicating with the Vietnamese. If you watch the reality show of Bobby Chinn who opening a restaurant in Saigon, you know what I mean ! 
Yeah, thanks to those not-so-useful Vietnamese Dictionary Apps, I rather do body-language.


Thank God, the clueless lost-in-translation 2 Indonesian girls saved by an Indonesian living in Phnom Penh who had a Vietnamese friend living in Saigon ( how long that sentence was! haha ) It was last minute ! But after I meet this 2 beautiful young Vietnamese lady ( and very willing to take us anywhere ), I know my trip in Saigon would be a memorable one. So here it is.... the first lunch that I had in Saigon! Enjoy!

Atmosphere :
Nhà Hàng Ngon is one big restaurant that you will notice immediately. It's yellow wall color and tall building really stands out. The restaurant is spacious too! There's an outdoor and indoor seating, and it is packed with the tourist! If you had a really limited time and you wanna try all the varieties of Vietnamese food, this is the perfect place ! I've been told that Vietnamese food had 3 kinds of regions. Northern, Central and Southern. Each regions had their own character and in Nhà Hàng Ngon, most of the food here is a Southern one, which had many influences from the foreign countries like Chinese, French, Thai,etc.
Nhà Hàng Ngon gather all the best hawker food from the Southern in one place. So when you arrived here, you can go around and see there are many 'little' stall selling different kind of Southern food. You order, then they will deliver  it to your table. Appetizer, Main Course, Dessert, you name it!



Price  : 
150.000 - 200.000 VND/person ( 7 - 10 USD/person)

Food :
When talk about Vietnamese food I only know Pho and Spring Roll, that's it. haha... So I let my Vietnamese friend choose and here what they order.
First is Bánh bèo, Bột lọc, Nem Nướng - 50.000 VND. Bánh bèo is a steamed rice cake,  Bột lọc is a gelatinous cake with dried shrimp, Nem Nướng is grilled pork meatballs ( or sausage ? ), three of this dressed in some vinegar. I can see there's a Chinese influence in this dish. Like the steamed cake, usually we call it 'Talam' here in Indonesia. 
 
 Next is Banh Hoi Chao Tom Cuon Banh Trang - 135.000 VND. This is a grilled pounded shrimp paste wrapped on sugar cane and served with rice vermicelli, rice paper, and vegetables. Need certain skills to wrap the rice paper ! haha... Glad that my Vietnamese friend do it for me :p Since the rice paper is very stiff and dry, you need to dip in to Nuoc Mam ( Fish sauce with garlic, sugar, lemon, and chillis ), to soften it and get the moist spring roll textures. How does it taste? A boom of flavor in your mouth. 


For some fulfilling dish, they choose Com Chien Quan Ngon - 90.000 VND. This is a fried rice with mixes of sausages and veggies. You can see another Chinese influence here! This just taste like Chinese fried rice. It's good tho.


Next is Bun Mam - 54.000 VND. This is a Vermicelli soup with seafood that usually called as Vietnamese Gumbo. haha... The fermented shrimp paste are added to make the soup, also eggplant, shrimp, and silky, thinly sliced fish and spring onion. The soup is thick but savory. Not fishy at all, but rather sweet. The broth has a complex depth taste, and some of the herb like rau dang ( some variety of cress ), bong sung ( water lily root ), also beansprouts,basil and mint added to the Bun Mam.

For the dessert is Bánh chuối hấp - 20.000 VND. This is a steamed banana cake with coconut milk. When I taste it, it's still warm. Soft and creamy, and beautiful presentation.

Drinks? of course Ca Phe Sua Da. haha... Ice coffee with milk!




Nhà Hàng Ngon
160 Pasteur St, Phuong Ben Nghe, District 1
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Phone  : +84 8 3827 7131

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Hi ! My name is Natasha. V. Lucas, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. What I do : Food Stylist | Food Photographer | F&B Consultant | Culinary TV Host | Social Media Managing For any inquiries you can email me to natashavlucas@gmail.com